Sunny Side with Cindy: Root for Kids helps parents nurture the next generation of Southern Utahns

SOUTHERN UTAH — Sunny 101.5 morning show host Cindy Olson uses her show “Sunny Side with Cindy” to celebrate the people that make our community a better place to live. In this episode, presented by The Shoppes at Zion, she visits Root for Kids to learn about how they’re helping Southern Utah’s most precious citizens.

Children are the future, and Root for Kids is dedicated to caring for little ones and their families even before they’re born. Previously known as The Learning Center for Families, they’re a nonprofit organization that works with pregnant women and children up to the age of 5. They focus on early child development, attachment and bonding, so kids get a strong start to life.

Find out how Root for Kids helps nurture Southern Utah’s little ones in this episode of “Sunny Side with Cindy” in the media player above.

“Sometimes as parents, we just need some support, we need some help, and we need some assistance,” Root for Kids CEO Suzanne Leonelli said. “We do the best that we can, but we don’t always know what that best is.”

Root for Kids aims to remove every barrier from a parent’s access to care. Along with providing services at their center, family support and development specialists visit parents and kids at home to teach secure attachments. They also help moms-to-be with proper nutrition and evidence-based prenatal care.

Leonelli said the work they do is critical because so much of a child’s brain is developed within the first few years of life. By age 5, 90% of the brain is fully developed.

“So we have this small window of opportunity to really impact a child’s life,” she added.

There are approximately 11,000 children under age 5 in Washington County, and Root for Kids only serves 5% of those kids. The upcoming Secret Garden Gala on June 25, their biggest annual fundraiser, allows Root for Kids to offer resources to more local families. With this in mind, they’re looking for sponsors, monetary donations and people to attend and bid on both the live and silent auctions.

Root for Kids also offers an array of volunteer opportunities at the center.

If you’re interested in volunteering or want to learn more about services available to the community, visit or call 435-673-5353.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

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